Co-mapping on Country
Co-mapping on Country, led by Kim Mahood, involves creating large multi-purpose canvas maps with Traditional Owners to facilitate communication, engagement, discussion and decision making. The project, funded by Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia (CRCNA), is based on the concept that maps act as excellent ‘boundary objects’ for helping negotiate the spaces between different cultures and knowledges. They are tangible items with significance for both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people that facilitate discussion, planning and decision-making in complex environments. Maps are known to be valued by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples for a range of reasons and developing a two-way map becomes an effective engagement tool with land at the centre.
The co-mapping process and the viable maps are multi-purpose but for this project, will provide the right foundation required for successful planning and implementation of commercial development on Aboriginal land and enable that information to then be used to plan development activity that fits with aspirations and expectations of all stakeholders. These methodologies will be utilised on the six commercial trial projects developed by ALEDA and later to populate the ALEDA Land and Opportunities Prospectus (LOP) with commercial projects. The co-mapping aims to overcome obstacles (e.g. engagement, communication and understanding) by developing a process, framework and toolkit. This will enhance stakeholder capacity to remain engaged, plan, implement and make decisions regarding their assets and future commercial development.
This EDS positions Indigenous landholders to facilitate developments that maximise local benefits by using a two-way knowledge approach to communication and planning. The EDS uses existing Aboriginal/non-Aboriginal co-mapping methodology, extending this for the first time to use in Indigenous-led commercial development planning on Aboriginal land. Two-way mapping will form the basis of the integrated reporting component of the knowledge management system and may become part of a ‘two-way’ governance curriculum in the future.